T Nation

Home Gym vs. Commerical Gym

Hello everyone,
I don’t know if this is the right place for this post or not but we’ll start here and see what happens.

I have been a member of a local gym for 2 years now. I have lost 45 lbs of FAT and gained about 20 in muscle mass.

My nine year old son is starting to take notice and showing interest in getting in shape himself. Good.

My question is this…Where do you all work out? Home gym or a commercial gym? Reasons why? Pro’s Con’s etc…

I figure that I pay $600 a year for a membership and I cannot have my son with me. Perhaps is I set up a nice home gym it will pay for itself in a few years and I also will be able to get my son into bodybuilding.

Just fishing for some ideas in this deep think tank…

TKC

I work out at both. My real training I do at home and once a week I go to a commercial gym just to get out of the house while not at work. I also keep my eyes open for possible training partners.

I should also mention that I am curious what everyone who works out at home uses. Free weights? What would be condidered a good, basic setup that won’t set me back an arm and a leg?.

TKC

I train in my basement and wouldn’t have it any other way. That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when a commercial gym would be nice, DEPENDING ON THE GYM, which is the biggest point.

Home:

Pros: Right downstairs, no rules, shitty music or any of the other aggravations that usually come with a commercial gym, especially a less than serious commercial gym. No payments.

Cons: Unless you have astronomical amounts of money and space there will never be a time when you stop wishing there was something else you had in your home gym. No company unless family or friends come over to train if that matters to you. It takes a little time and planning to devise all the ways to move stuff around during a given workout without taking too much time between sets, but can be done with some creativity. Initial financial outlay.

Commercial Gym:

Pros: Lots and lots of equipment and room. Potential for good training company. Doesn’t take up space in your house and or destroy your floor which will happen eventually no matter what unless you spring for some weight room flooring. Depending on your home personnel situation a gym may afford you a more uninterrupted atmosphere. This is no issue for me, but a spouse or kids that don’t get it can be a pain. (Ex. "Daddy where’s my shoes"as they stand there waiting for an answer when you’re red faced and half way up on the last rep of a heavy set of deadlifts)

Cons: Have to drive there, rain, snow, cold weather etc. Potentially undesirable rules and people/politics/general bullshit, again depending on the gym and when you’re going to be there.

This is a cursory rundown. I’ve done both and if I had to choose I’d still take my home gym which has set me back a couple grand over time. I was amazed what could be had used, at garage sales or just plain in clearance sales at places like Sears or sporting goods stores. Bartering is good too. I’ve traded computer stuff and services for old equipment that people didn’t want any more too. You know how they are. New Year resolutions, GUNG HO, buy all this shit and by may it’s in the garage sale.

[quote]tkclary wrote:
I should also mention that I am curious what everyone who works out at home uses. Free weights? What would be condidered a good, basic setup that won’t set me back an arm and a leg?.

TKC[/quote]

If you want basic, get a regular old flat bench. Not bench press, just the kind you can move around. A power rack and one of those 300lb barbell sets from academy or wherever. That will be enough to get you going, and after that you can start picking up bits and pieces here and there.

I have pictures of mine in my profile, I got a ton of stuff and too much to list out.

Training at home kicks ass bud…

http://gregnmary.gotdns.com/gym/index0.html

These aren’t the greatest shots and are like a year old so it’s better now, but you get the idea. Mix n match, a little here a little there. Giveaway deals on stuff stores can’t or people don’t want. 2 grand and some change all together.

I only train in comercial gyms when I’m on the road for business and I can’t wait to get back to my garage after day2. My gym pics are in my profile. My only poblem is I want to expand my gym into the next car bay but hate the thought of keeping my car out in the North East elements.

The setups you guys have make me jealous.

I can’t wait to be able to set up my own home gym.

The only things I like about the commerical gym is (1) Girls (2) Lots of equipment that would be hard to have in your garage. (3) Nut bars doing crazy shit. It’s like the circus sometimes!

In all honesty thought, I spend most my time at the gym using the basic equipment, power rack, benchs etc…I don’t wander to the machines that often, so I could probably make out fine with a home setup.

If you can get something with at least a high cable outfit, that comes in handy. Mine has a high and low cable and they do see some use.

[quote]Garage_Gorilla wrote:
I only train in comercial gyms when I’m on the road for business and I can’t wait to get back to my garage after day2. My gym pics are in my profile. My only poblem is I want to expand my gym into the next car bay but hate the thought of keeping my car out in the North East elements.[/quote]

now that’s a nice gym. sweet pics

[quote]tkclary wrote:
I should also mention that I am curious what everyone who works out at home uses. Free weights? What would be condidered a good, basic setup that won’t set me back an arm and a leg?.

TKC[/quote]

Of course free weights! Is there anything else? I got a power rack with adjustable hooks and catches and an adjustable bench. 7 ft strait bar around 400 lbs of weights, and eeze curl bar, a small but growing collection of dumbbells. The initial set up cost me around $550. I have been slowly adding as time goes on. I bought my rack used…It’s a great way to go. Get used shit, it’s metal, most people can’t fuck that up. Besides most people don’t use it enough to fuck it up.

Basically depends on the personality

Home Gym: Doesnt require people to look at him to work with his mas weights

Gym Rat: Requires people to look at him to lift max weights.

For those home users here is Dan John using 1 DUMBBELL! for lots of excercises :slight_smile:

I prefer working out at home. Basic equipment you must have:

Adjustable bench
Power Cage
Olympic Bar
Olympic Plates

Things that are nice but not required:

GHR
Dip attachment
Hinge for T-Bar rows
Weight stack and cable handles
Dumbbells
Shrug Bar
Bands
Music
BNS Wrist Roller Strap
Sled
Sandbags
Fractional Plates

Read my blog about setting up a home gym and also check out the pictures in my profile - I took updated pics about a month ago. However, I recently purchased a home and have the gym set up in my garage.

I began building my own home gym in July 2004. I started with a power rack, flat bench, 300lb Olympic barbell set, EZ curl bar and a weight tree. With the use of a coupon from the Entertainment Book ($25 off) and working with the guys at Play-It-Again Sports, I got all of the above for less than $600 (and it was all new equipment).

I already had a few things on hand (doorway chin bar, kbells, med balls, jump rope and Elite FTS dragging sled).

And since July 2004, I’ve been constantly building my gym and upgrading things. I now have a lat/row attachment for my Body Solid Power Rack (definitely worth getting), and I also purchased some awesome equipment from Ironmaster.com including the Super Bench (I highly recommend this bench), the adjustable dumbbell set and various attachments for the bench (leg curl/extension, ab attachment, dip bars and preacher curl attachment).

Those were some of the best pieces of equipment I purchased to help expand my gym and allow me to do many more exercises.

And I have plenty of other things as well including sandbags, board presses, Iron Woody mini bands, Elite bands, Hex dumbbells from 5-30lbs, various lat and triceps bar attachments, a Texas Power Bar, Swiss ball and more!

Don’t get me wrong, with just a power rack, flat bench and 300lb Olympic barbell set, you will be set for quite a while (it worked for me for two years). But having the ability to use other exercises and mediums by adding the lat/row attachment, adjustable dumbbells and a incline/flat/decline bench really helps!

As for training at home, I recommend getting at least one good training partner. It can be easy to slack off at home if you are not focused and driven to do it every day. A training partner helps keep you accountable and helps to push you when you don’t really feel like going hard during your training.

It’s also nice that I save time, money, convenience, etc. with a home gym. I can train when I want. I don’t have to wait for anything, and I don’t have to worry about stupid people talking to me during training or watching people do some scary things in the gym that make me cringe or wonder where they even heard of certain exercises and whatnot.

The only thing I miss with having a home gym is seeing some hot girls walking around in next to nothing at the gym or using the ad/abductor machine with loose shorts. :wink:

Other than that, I don’t find that training at home is a problem (unless you feel you really need some of the equipment at a gym or need to be around the people). It’s well worth the investment, and it can be done on a budget as low as $500 (for most of the basics needed).

I have just a bit more than $3,000 invested with everything I have. If I did things over again, I’d probably not buy all the extra things I have (kbells, some of my sandbags, some of the bands, etc.), but I would buy the following for sure:

  1. Body Solid Power Rack with lat/row attachment (or similar brand).

  2. 300lb Olympic Barbell Set.

  3. Ironmaster Super Bench with attachments (dip bar, preacher curl bench, leg curl/ext attachment).

  4. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells with extra pins/weights to go up to 120lbs.

  5. Weight Tree (to hold all Olympic plates).

  6. Various attachments for lat pulldowns and triceps exercises and rows.

  7. Elite FTS (or other brand) Dragging Sled.

  8. Swiss ball (optional - but nice to have).

  9. Med ball (optional - 2-3 different sizes).

  10. Jump rope ($5.95 at Champs Sports).

  11. Chalk (cheap and very useful)

  12. EZ Curl Bar (optional)

  13. Josh Henkin Sandbag (optional - but I highly recommend his outer bags. Make your own filler bags with play sand, contractor’s bags and Duct tape).

  14. 4’x6’ - 3/4" stable mats (get them from a feed store for much less money - they are heavy and very durable).

  15. Elite Glute-Ham Bench (This is on my wish list. It’s optional, but it’s definitely one piece of equipment I would really like to have and it would replace some of the things I already have).

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
Read my blog about setting up a home gym and also check out the pictures in my profile - I took updated pics about a month ago. However, I recently purchased a home and have the gym set up in my garage.

I began building my own home gym in July 2004. I started with a power rack, flat bench, 300lb Olympic barbell set, EZ curl bar and a weight tree. With the use of a coupon from the Entertainment Book ($25 off) and working with the guys at Play-It-Again Sports, I got all of the above for less than $600 (and it was all new equipment).

I already had a few things on hand (doorway chin bar, kbells, med balls, jump rope and Elite FTS dragging sled).

And since July 2004, I’ve been constantly building my gym and upgrading things. I now have a lat/row attachment for my Body Solid Power Rack (definitely worth getting), and I also purchased some awesome equipment from Ironmaster.com including the Super Bench (I highly recommend this bench), the adjustable dumbbell set and various attachments for the bench (leg curl/extension, ab attachment, dip bars and preacher curl attachment).

Those were some of the best pieces of equipment I purchased to help expand my gym and allow me to do many more exercises.

And I have plenty of other things as well including sandbags, board presses, Iron Woody mini bands, Elite bands, Hex dumbbells from 5-30lbs, various lat and triceps bar attachments, a Texas Power Bar, Swiss ball and more!

Don’t get me wrong, with just a power rack, flat bench and 300lb Olympic barbell set, you will be set for quite a while (it worked for me for two years). But having the ability to use other exercises and mediums by adding the lat/row attachment, adjustable dumbbells and a incline/flat/decline bench really helps!

As for training at home, I recommend getting at least one good training partner. It can be easy to slack off at home if you are not focused and driven to do it every day. A training partner helps keep you accountable and helps to push you when you don’t really feel like going hard during your training.

It’s also nice that I save time, money, convenience, etc. with a home gym. I can train when I want. I don’t have to wait for anything, and I don’t have to worry about stupid people talking to me during training or watching people do some scary things in the gym that make me cringe or wonder where they even heard of certain exercises and whatnot.

The only thing I miss with having a home gym is seeing some hot girls walking around in next to nothing at the gym or using the ad/abductor machine with loose shorts. :wink:

Other than that, I don’t find that training at home is a problem (unless you feel you really need some of the equipment at a gym or need to be around the people). It’s well worth the investment, and it can be done on a budget as low as $500 (for most of the basics needed).

I have just a bit more than $3,000 invested with everything I have. If I did things over again, I’d probably not buy all the extra things I have (kbells, some of my sandbags, some of the bands, etc.), but I would buy the following for sure:

  1. Body Solid Power Rack with lat/row attachment (or similar brand).

  2. 300lb Olympic Barbell Set.

  3. Ironmaster Super Bench with attachments (dip bar, preacher curl bench, leg curl/ext attachment).

  4. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells with extra pins/weights to go up to 120lbs.

  5. Weight Tree (to hold all Olympic plates).

  6. Various attachments for lat pulldowns and triceps exercises and rows.

  7. Elite FTS (or other brand) Dragging Sled.

  8. Swiss ball (optional - but nice to have).

  9. Med ball (optional - 2-3 different sizes).

  10. Jump rope ($5.95 at Champs Sports).

  11. Chalk (cheap and very useful)

  12. EZ Curl Bar (optional)

  13. Josh Henkin Sandbag (optional - but I highly recommend his outer bags. Make your own filler bags with play sand, contractor’s bags and Duct tape).

  14. 4’x6’ - 3/4" stable mats (get them from a feed store for much less money - they are heavy and very durable).

  15. Elite Glute-Ham Bench (This is on my wish list. It’s optional, but it’s definitely one piece of equipment I would really like to have and it would replace some of the things I already have).
    [/quote]

I went to Play-it-again a couple of weeks ago, they were charging $.85 a per lbs. for hex dumbbells! I was offended. But that’s where I got my rack and stuff a couple of years ago for a good deal. I don’t know what’s up with the dumbbells.

I almost scored a Bowflex extreme for $100 from one of my neighbors who didn’t use it, but he backed out at the last minute. Boy, I was disappointed. That would have supplemented what I had nicely. I could have had a full compliment of cable movements available. Hell, it’s probably a good thing, I’d never leave the basement.

Wow! That’s quite a price increase. Everything is going up these days. When I bought most of my stuff, the weights were still .55 per pound!

LOL! It’s amazing what you can do when you have a few extra pieces of equipment around. :slight_smile:

That’s outrageous. I can still get new iron around here for 50-55 a pound and used for half that.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
That’s outrageous. I can still get new iron around here for 50-55 a pound and used for half that.[/quote]

yeah, i got a 300# olympic weight set for about $135 or so; $0.85 per lb is ridiculous, especially for used.

I have just started training from home and got a basic but excellent set up in my garage.

  • Powertec power rack c/w chin and dip attachements (this was the best rack I could find and one of the cheapest!)
  • Iron master super bench
  • 7ft Olympic bar
  • 200kg worth of Olympic plates

I have two problems with training at home:
1st - is no training partner (I use to have two good ones and I miss them)
2nd - I cannot go into the garage for anything with doing at least 1 max rep set of something with whatever in on the bar.

I also love coming home at night and watching the garage door open to reveal a power rack sad huh!

I was talking to a buddy who owns an equipment outlet…the price of steel dumbells has almost doubled this year for the first time in over 20 years. He said pretty soon folks will be paying 1.00 per pound for hex dumbells. This stuff all comes through china now and it may have to do with the price of fuel etc. So get your weights before the price doubles again.